• May 26, 2021
Gumboot Friday has raised 2 million dollars for young Kiwis mental in the last couple of years. Photo: Lucy Schwenke
TW: This article discusses mental health and suicide.
Gumboot Friday is kicking off for the third time on May 28th, an initiative run by mental health charity I Am Hope.
I Am Hope founder Mike King says the overall aim of the day is to raise awareness for mental health.
“The idea behind putting gumboots on is a symbol, as depression is described as walking through mud everyday.”
The day encourages people to don a pair of gumboots and donate a gold coin towards I Am Hope, with all proceeds going directly towards providing free counselling sessions for people under the age of 25.
In 2019 and 2020, I Am Hope raised 2 million dollars which funded over 15 thousand counselling sessions for young people in New Zealand.
Young clients will receive one counselling session a week, with a cap of two sessions per person.
New Zealand has one of the highest youth suicide rates, with 175 young people dying by suicide and 3,500 estimated attempts in the last year.
Psychotherapist, Jay Morris says it is "normal" to feel fearful when seeking mental health help.
"It is an incredibly brave thing to do for ourselves, to take our mental health seriously.”
A sentiment reflected by youth counsellor, Tomislav Skulic, who says people should seek help if they're not doing well.
“Becoming aware that you're not coping, or that something isn't right, is a signal from a healthy part of you. Through counselling and psychotherapy, you can take the opportunity to address and explore what is going on.”
‘I am Hope’ encourages people to support Gumboot Friday by involving workplaces, schools, and organisations.
Where to find help and support: